Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall chop! 5 min, no mess trick to take down your grass fast!

I love me some grass! All kinds, colors, and shapes. Heehee. Decorative grasses. Come on now! The only I don't like is the messy take down and hard core splitting they require to keep them looking great.

The splitting I will get to in the spring (come back here for a visit) and even though it's tough I love that I can double the amount of grasses I have with this chore. The fall chop however seems like a no brainer but the cleanup is a mess!!! Enter my omg, why didn't I think of this sooner, where the hell have you been all of my life trick!
Oh yeah.....5 minutes! What is the trick? PACKING TAPE! Now I know there are tons of posts on duck tape but packing tale works wonder and the debris is easy to move and discard. I did all of these by myself with no partner. ( um.......some big guy I know does not like bugs........seriously!) 
In addition to these fence blockers (these really break up the fence nicely) I have 5 mega monsters ( these just make you go , wow, what was I thinking when I planted that) and a wall of 8 behind the pool. That's a lot of grass!!! ( heehee....... I crack myself up with the grass references! ) Anyhoo.....having the debris all over the yard makes for a terrible ordeal. With the packing tape....you just tape 'em, cut 'em, and carry 'em! That's it! Can I get a woohoo? Oh yeah! 
I did the whole yard in about an hour. Easy, breezy, cover girl! 
1. Dip low under the grass canopy with the tape pulled and ready
2. Wrap tightly just above where you want to cut
3. Repeat in the middle and the top ( don't cheat this step as they can fly open and.....well, then you have a mess. Don't ask me how I know this.........)
4.use electric hedger and chop their heads off.....well, you know what I mean
5. I placed in township approved bags for recycle pick up
6. Sit on deck and admire your handy work. Practice smug looks for when the boys come out and say...."wow" you did that! 

Oh yeah.......try it! I always do this in the fall......in fact, Halloween is my mental cut off date so if you haven't done something with your grass........now's the time to make it happen! Real talk! 






Sunday, October 20, 2013

SEASON FOR SAVING! 4 ways to save while shopping!!

Can you believe it's just 2 months until Christmas? I know, I know, many of you are in full blown Halloween mode. I get it. Don't rush. This time for me is all about prep and planning for my favorite day of the year! Christmas eve! Gift giving and entertaining make the season super festive but also super expensive. As I gear up with freebies and discounts on things people are shocked by I am often asked....how do you have time to do it....here are a few of my favorites and tips to make using them fun and easy! Remember.....the way to eat an elephant is one little bite at a time! LOL (who eats elephants anyway?) Same thing with holiday prep....a lil at a time is better to keep the spirits bright and the pockets not so light! Let's go!

1st up is my all time favorite!! EBATES!!! This is a must for ANYONE that shops online! You can sign up here or by clicking the ebates button on the right!
Sign up for Ebates now!!

The 1st thing you will see is your bonus. It may look like the pic below! SWEET! Who doesn't love a bonus!!

Next up is a list of stores and how much they will give you back on your purchase. The great thing about ebates is that even though you start at their site...it takes you to the store of your choice and all the sales and coupons they may have!! I love ebates for things that never go on sale. ex. Apple products....IPADs, etc. Also for big purchases that I have to make no matter what. (ex. washer and dryer. Go to ebates, enter Sears, make your purchase....SCORE) It is also great for college students.....those text books can be soo pricey. Love to get a little back! OK....you get it. Sign up now and then.....another favorite shopping day for me is Cyber Monday! Add Ebates to your process and you just added icing to a great sales day!!

Next up....SWAGBUCKS. This is a cool search engine and it allows you to earn giftcards, etc for doing regular things on the Internet. I like it because the giftcards I earn all year end up being some kick butt stocking stuffers.....and all for FREE! Heeeeey! Loving that!! Easy breezy!



Now, since I have a reputation for being..eh hummmm, cheap...well frugal....I have to come with some impressive items. Just because I want the price to be low.....I don't want to skimp on quality! This brand is my go to brand for personalized planners, notebooks, etc. They are super quality!! The IPAD covers are to die for but it is the planners that you really need to get. One of a kind gift for the ones you love. I am going nuts putting "Dr. Corbitt" on my daughter's customized stationary! Heehee!! Get started now.....my only problem with this is not adding things for myself! Ha!

The brand is  Erin Condren, and you should check out her website! She offers a lifestyle brand that customizes and stylizes everything from life planners, acrylic trays, holiday cards, iphone cases, and more! Sign up to receive a $10 OFF coupon for your 1st purchase. Let me know what you get!
https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/nicoleharding



Finally....for the pricier items I like the flash sales. Here is the problem though..............tooooo much email. What is the solution? I have an email that is just for deals. I use it when I sign up for something to get a sale or coupon and I use it when I sigh up for the flash sale site. I enjoy RueLaLa because the packaging is great and the shipping is low no matter how much you buy.

It really is  the destination for limited-time Boutiques filled with brands we love at private sale prices. It's Members-only, and I'm inviting you. Last year I got customized shirts for the big guys and Beats by Dre headphones for my oldest son. Yippee.
sample of RueLaLa savings!! 


Most of us are gonna spend. I say, if you are gonna do it.....do it right! Make your list, check it twice, and save some cash in the process. Saving is sexy!! And you know that's real talk! Let's go!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Instead of New Year's Resolutions try Seasonal Solutions! Fall Forward!!

It's fall y'all and for me this season marks another year to celebrate a birthday and be thankful. I like to think of it as a time to grab a fresh start. Unlike the pressure that comes with New Year's Resolutions I like to think this is a time for seasonal solutions!!

As I write this I am feeling high on life....joy....gratitude. I'm telling you if I could package this I would be on the world's most wanted list. I have never tried drugs but ..............it can't be better. At this age I have seen lots of really great things and places and some really bad ones.....I've know some really great people and how to live in a world with some that are the opposite. With it all........I choose to make the most of every day.....find every bit of happiness I can squeeze out and bloom wherever I am planted! So....while I love moving my clock back at the end of this month....here is my list for Fall-ing Forward! Try some of them.....you may be pleased with the results!!

1. Call someone you haven't talked to in a long time....tell them that you miss them!
2. Clean out your medicine cabinet (and restock what you need!!)
3. Plant bulbs! (in the spring they will stand at attention and greet you as if you were royalty!!)
4. USE YOUR BEST DISHES................tonight. Why wait.....
5. Buy new underwear......and bras. Wine gets better with age......ummm, yeah, undergarments do not! It's time to retire some of your favs. And if you are a guy....do not buy bras. OK...you get it!
6. Eat healthy....er. Not putting a goal on it or any pressure but....health is important!!
7. Speaking of health....get a mammogram or prostate test. Take a friend or family member. (not to hang out...make them make an appointment too!)
8. Do something nice................and don't expect anything back!!
9.  Invite people over. It's a great way to get a good cleaning done and if you did number 1...you may want to catch up even more.
10. Have a party...Chili for a Chili night, Pokeno, Wine Tasting, Scandal Watch....whatever....keep it simple but it's a great time to entertain and do a lil seasonal decorating
Sally the Sassy Sideboard ready for Fall with homemade hanger burlap wreath !

11. Clean your baseboards...............this is my most dreaded task but seriously, have you looked at your baseboards lately?
12. Write a letter to someone. Not an email.. Not a text. Tell someone in writing they are important to you!!
13. Get some antifreeze stuff for your windshield wipers. It may be 80 degrees today but it could snow tomorrow and you need to see the road
14. Go a different way home......look around....who knew all the cool stuff right in your own backyard
15. Educate yourself on a local candidate and VOTE! I'm not talking folks you see on CNN here peeps....I'm talking about the people who can get your street sign put back up
16. Make something different for dinner......really.....how many times are you gonna make spaghetti this month (Ummmm......I really, really like spaghetti)
17. Take a walk.....find a park.....let the brisk air hit ya in the face! It's good for you!!
18. Clean your makeup bag out.....not only is it a new season but how long have you had that pink mascara in there?
19.  Learn something new. Even if it's something small. Share what you learn with someone else.
20. change your furniture around! Who knows when the budget will be right for new items........but the same stuff looks new when moved around. Try it.....
21. stop cursing. or be happy if this isn't an issue for you. Ummm, this is on all of my to do lists. but that's another blog
22. clean out your inbox....get a handle on all the information coming you way
23. while you've taken control of your info....take stock of your closet and pantry too. get them season ready!
24. Get your eyes checked.........even if you feel that this really confirms you are getting old and have been avoiding this task(like me)
25. Be HAPPY! Actively........... smile, greet people, engage, listen................choose to find something in every day that is good .

One thing I know for sure is you usually find what you are looking for..... Rather it's on this list or a list of your own......schedule in YOU.....put YOU on your priority list....don't let perfection block progress and don't let waiting on the right time turn into running out of time and that is real talk!    Happy Fall Y'all!!

Betty the Buffet dressed with fall leaf garland and autumn flower filled aged toolbox

Friday, October 4, 2013

The love lottery! Adoption option!

If I see one more side eye, or hear one more disparaging remark about folks adopting outside of their race or same sex couples adopting children I may have to scream! These comments always seem to come from folks that have not adopted anyone so I am wondering how they became experts.

While I have filled my home with various relatives from time to time and three kids of my own I have never adopted........but I am adopted and that experience gives me a strong point of view. In my case, my parents (mostly my Mom) saw someone else's bad situation of drugs and poverty and stepped in so a new baby wouldn't be added to that mix. Lower middle class themselves, a new mouth to feed wasn't in the plans......they were more Florida and James than Claire and Cliff  but they made it work for a short time. Then, MOM, made it work by herself for the rest of the time. No questionnaires and home visits......just a ride home from the hospital. And in that moment, I was saved from what was sure to be a death sentence. It wasn't all flowery and perfect but I was loved and most importantly.....I was RAISED!

When I see my friends of other races and some in same sex marriages adopting black children I think to myself.......these kids hit the lottery! Oh, it's not what you think. Fancy dresses and Jonathan Adler furniture are great perks for sure but I mean the LOVE lottery. There is nothing like being wanted and cared for......to have a schedule and a routine....to be safe.

Recently, I read a post from a white, gay, male friend of mine about getting  a Bald Fade at his local barber because that is where his black sons have their hair cut......I could have wept. The kind of love that allows you to seek understanding of something that was very foreign to you but now is PART of you......I'm telling ya that is the LOVE lottery. I see so many examples, big and small, of the love lottery when chatting with friends who have chosen adoption. I am so grateful this option is available to them. It is life changing....for parent and child.

So it infuriates me when judgement is placed on any family trying to make it through each day, doing their best for each other, no matter what the composition or origination is of that family. Any judgement or second guessing should come when thinking about how and why so many kids are without a stable structured family environment and what can be done to slow the spigot of unwanted  children.

As an adult I have met my biological siblings whom I love dearly, learned a bit of my history, and argued more times than I care to mention on who my REAL mother is....even being corrected by that ever persistent and well meaning friend. On this point, for me, there is no room for interpretation. The woman who watched from the sidelines and waited for me, named me, and brought me home from the hospital is my only mother. Every bit of joy and dysfunction, every failure and success is somehow connected back to her......because she chose to love me.

So the next person that raises an eyebrow or makes a snide remark about what someone else is doing, I would like to ask them, "ummmm, how many children have you adopted?" And while you are worried about them, try checking on your own self. And that is real talk!!

There are over 500,000 children in the foster care system in the US. 
About 126,000 children are adopted annually.